Wonder and Living Books

When reading blogs from life-long homeschoolers, listening to speakers about homeschooling, and learning about homeschooling-the main theme is read, read, read.

Well, reading is what we do a lot of around here.  We hit the library every 2-3 weeks and load up on books.  Everyone picks a chapter book to read and several picture books or nonfiction books.  The kids also participate in a monthly book club.  Sometimes, each child reads the book individually and sometimes we read the book together as a family.

When deciding upon which book to read aloud as a family, I try to find living books.  Living books, in my mind, resonate with the reader.  In our case, I want to the children to feel that they are in the book.  I want them to empathize with the main characters in the story.  So far this school year, we read White Fang, My Father’s Dragon, The American Girl Series-Rebecca, The Horse’s Boy, Nature Girl, The Island of the Blue Dolphin, Wonder and Hoot.


I have no regrets about any of these books!  While in Florida, we finished up the book Wonder by Palacio.  Wonder is an amazing book.  Auggie, the main character, has a rare genetic deformity which effects his looks.  Otherwise, he is a typical fifth grade boy who homeschooled through fourth grade and started school in fifth grade.  So why is this such an amazing book in my opinion?  Mainly, kids can identify with it.  The book changes perspectives from Auggie to his sister to his friends to his sister’s friend.  The author does an amazing job displaying how one person is able to influence an entire group of people-in this case, in a very positive way.

For my children, who do not attend school, the book gave them a glimpse into a typical school.  Yes, Auggie had a deformity; however, he experienced much of the same drama that most fifth grade kids experience.  The book went through all of the normal school social craziness including bullying, social “wars,” trying to fit in, finding true friends, trying to stay true to your self and just attempting to keep up with school.

Running Monologues   recommended the book in a recent post.  At the time, I was in my search for our next book to read aloud.  I love when life works like that.  It made my search much easier.  I highly recommend this one as well!

Now we are on a new journey-Hoot!